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Body cameras on Border Patrol agents could save live

  By: Pedro Rios In 2010, Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, a husband and father of five, was handcuffed, tortured and brutally beaten to death by 12 Border Patrol agents at the San Ysidro border crossing in California. The horrifying incident witnessed by dozens of people exposed a systemic problem with the nation’s largest law enforcement agency: that Border Patrol agents operate with impunity, without meaningful accountability, and in complete opaqueness. The abuses by agents are widespread and well documented. Since January of 2010 more than46 people have died as a result of an interaction with the Border Patrol. This past June, a woman was killed when Border Patrol agents intentionally rammed their boat into another boat carrying 20 people. In 2012, a Border Patrol agent shot 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez repeatedly in the back before he died. He was on his way to a local market to buy food staples in the Mexican city of Nogales, along the border with Arizona. Continue reading
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Case of San Diego Man Beaten to Death by CBP to be Reviewed

  Responding to calls for accountability, CBP implements Use of Force Review Board Washington D.C./Southern Border Region - This Thursday, March 10, the Use of Force Review Board (UFRB), convened by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), will review the investigation of CBP's lethal beating of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas. Maria Puga, widow of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, and Christian Ramirez, Director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition, will be available for comment in person, by phone or Skype today, March 9 between 10:00 am - 12:00 pm PST at the office of Alliance San Diego: 4443 30th St. San Diego, CA. Continue reading
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Trial for Border Patrol agent who shot and killed Mexican teenager moved to November

  By: Rob O'Dell TUCSON— The murder trial for the Border Patrol agent who shot through the border fence and killed a Mexican teenager is now set for November, after being delayed three times since late 2015. U.S. District Court Judge Raner C. Collins set the trial date for Nov. 7, the day before Election Day. The goal was to set a realistic date for both sides — allowing the Border Patrol agent's lawyer Sean Chapman time to prepare for the trial while also giving the government a set date to bring in witnesses from two countries. Continue reading
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CBP's Use of Force Review Board to Examine Investigation of Border Stun Gun Death of Mexican Man

  By Samantha Tatro, Eric Tucker and Julie Watson The family of a Mexican man shocked and killed by U.S. border authorities six years ago with a stun gun has a renewed hope for justice now that a review board is looking into the way authorities handled the case. The 2010 death of 42-year-old Anastasio Hernandez-Rojas raised complaints of excessive force from the then-president of Mexico and others, and investigators with the Justice Department examined the case for evidence of a civil rights violation. Continue reading
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Scathing report deems fatal Border Patrol shooting ‘highly predictable’

  By Andrew Becker U.S. Border Patrol agents had “an astonishing pattern” of shooting people who threw rocks at them under a vague use-of-force policy that led to the “highly predictable” death of a man along the U.S.-Mexico border in California, according to a law enforcement expert witness’ review of a fatal shooting. In a report completed this week, a former Baltimore police commissioner and Justice Department official found a Border Patrol policy allowing agents to shoot their firearms based on the threat of a thrown object “highly suspect.”   Continue reading
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Is the U.S. “Failing” Migrant Children Fleeing Violence?

  By: Sarah Childress Day after day, a white van pulled up at an egg farm in central Ohio and unloaded several young Guatemalans, most of them just teenagers. They were forced to work 12-hour shifts six or seven days a week loading and unloading crates of chickens, cleaning their coops and clipping their beaks. At night, they bedded down in unheated, rat-infested trailers without working toilets, kept down under threat of violence by traffickers. The young migrants had been apprehended in the United States, then handed over to the traffickers, who posed as close friends and family members willing to take them in while they awaited their immigration hearings. Continue reading
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Tracing America’s borderlands history along the Anza Trail

  By: Sarah Tory I am lost before I’ve even started. It’s December and I’m in Nogales, Arizona, determined to re-trace the footsteps of the first Spanish colonizing expedition across what is now the border between the United States and Mexico. Nearly 250 years ago, in 1775, a young Spanish commander led a group of mostly poor villagers — men, women and children — together with more than 1,000 horses and cattle from the Mexican state of Sinaloa northwards across a vast desert to the far reaches of the Empire in what was then called Alta California. Like Yosemite or Yellowstone, or the Oregon Trail, the expedition’s route is part of the national park system. It should be easy to find. But the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail has no official starting point — at least not one that’s marked. Instead, there is a giant steel fence equipped with motion sensors, and the ever-vigilant eyes of the U.S. Border Patrol. Continue reading
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Ok, one more time - No, we're not being overrun by illegal immigrants: Analysis

  By: John L. Micek Okay, sit down. Take a deep breath. Now repeat this mantra to yourself: No matter what Donald Trump says, we're not being overrun by illegal immigrants. We don't need a "beautiful wall." And we don't need to make Mexico pay for it. Not that Mexico was going to anyway. Why? Continue reading
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Pulitzer Prize Winner Jose Antonio Vargas Talks Race, Immigration, Politics

  By Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist-turned-documentary filmmaker and immigration activist. Now he wants to add another title to his resume: publisher. Vargas, who revealed in 2011 that he's been living in the U.S. illegally since the age of 12, launched a crowdfunding campaign for a new media venture called #EmergingUS. He says the online news organization aims to explore the "evolving American identity." Vargas spoke KPBS Midday Edition about immigration, race and the presidential race. Here are highlights from that interview.   Continue reading
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10 Shots Across the Border

  By: Mark Binelli  The killing of a Mexican 16-year-old raises troubling questions about the United States Border Patrol. Around 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 10, 2012, a police officer in Nogales, Ariz., named John Zuñiga received a call reporting suspicious activity on International Street, which runs directly alongside the Mexican border. Most of Zuñiga’s calls involved shoplifters at the local Walmart or domestic-violence complaints, but he also worked as a liaison with United States Customs and Border Protection (C.B.P.). Though border security is the responsibility of the Border Patrol, the Nogales police can assist when illegal activity is happening stateside — if, for instance, drug smugglers have slipped over the fence and are making their way into Arizona. Continue reading
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